Workplace Wellness: National Nutrition Month

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Did you know it’s National Nutrition Month? Sarah Palmiero is the Wellness Team Leader for engineering firm Garver, but she’s also a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). She’s joining the Good Day crew today to talk about how to eat well when you’re at work. 

Eat like a PRO (protein and produce)

Eating at work doesn’t have to be complicated. An easy way to make sure you’re eating well is to eat like a PRO – focus on produce and protein, with a little fat added in for good measure. You can do this by asking yourself three questions every time you have a meal:

o   Do I have a vegetable and/or fruit? For nutrients and fiber.

o   Do I have protein? Most important – part of every bodily process.

o   Do I have fat? For satiety and flavor.

Snack Smart

Let’s talk about snacks. Some of us can go through the day on 3 meals alone and we’re fine, others (like me) need to have a snack at some point during the day to fight off hunger. Best snacks are going to be a combo of carbohydrates (complex, I hope) and a protein, plus a fat if you want it. This gives your body the best range of nutrients and calories to be satisfied and to keep you plugging along, especially during the afternoon drag that can slow productivity.

Take a Break!

Take some time to enjoy your lunch. It’s called a “Lunch Break” for a reason. Many of us are guilty of working through lunch, staring at a computer screen while absent mindedly eating our meals. It’s good for our brains and our waist lines to step away from our work and take a few minutes to enjoy our lunch. This helps us be mindful and actually enjoy our meals so we can come back to work feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Make Work Functions Work

Many of us eat out regularly at work – whether it’s lunch with coworkers, dinners with clients, or work parties and family functions – these regular indulgences at work can really add up. Going to a restaurant, party or other social gathering should be a time of enjoyment, but for many of us, it can be stressful deciding what to eat at these events.

·       Helpful Tips: 2 Out of 3

o   There are two ways to think about your meal – you can splurge because you make good choices most of the time and you deserve it (if it’s true, one meal won’t derail anything). Or you can enjoy yourself and still make good choices by eating like a PRO (plenty of vegetables and lean protein) and by using the 2 out of 3 rule. The 2 out of 3 rule is simple, between an appetizer or the bread or chip basket, an alcoholic beverage, or dessert, you choose two. This can be an excellent strategy because it allows you to indulge while being mindful of what you’re eating. I typically save this strategy for special dinners where I know I really want to have something special or unique.

o   Now, if you’re eating out for convenience sake, you should still take healthy choices into consideration – focus on vegetables and lean meats and limit alcohol and fried, overly salty or sugary foods. This is where many employees can make good decisions to help avoid getting off track. If eating out regularly is part of your professional life, make sure to focus on healthy meals most of the time.

o   This can also be applied to parties or other functions. Make good choices and, if there’s something you really want that’s special or unique that you wouldn’t normally have, eat it.

o   Don’t go to any event absolutely starving as you will surely overeat. Try to have at least a small snack to tide you over if you’re too hungry.

Don’t Confuse Hunger with Thirst

Another great tip is to stay hydrated. It’s very common to confuse hunger for thirst.

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